Kayaking As a Bonding Tool For Couples


My husband and I have been kayaking for about fifteen years, long before it became a “cool” thing to do. It started as a family activity with our son, and now that we’re (sort of) “empty nesters”, it continues to be the miracle cure for all that ails us as a couple. You can see from the picture on the left that it seems to have the same effect on that couple!

We began this season last Sunday on a pristine pond in York, Maine. We were both facing grueling work weeks, taxes, piles of Spring chores, calls to be returned, bills to be paid, dishes, laundry, and enough other stuff to make us bark at each other all morning. Then, after less than two minutes on the water, all was bliss. We were smiling, “cloud painting,” taking pictures of turtles, and joyfully paddling around the pond.

I’ve come to the conclusion that kayaking is the perfect antidote to stress, and the perfect bonding tool for couples, singles, or groups. You’re totally in the moment of the movement through the water, the breeze on your skin, negotiating the in’s and out’s of the shoreline, and watching the wildlife (we once had a moose swim right in front of our boats!). I prefer solo kayaks, because they allow you each to do your own thing when you want to, then be together when you want that. It’s the perfect balance of independence and connection. Getting there requires the collaborative effort of putting the boats onto your car carrier and tying them down, then taking them off and launching, then putting them back up again. Often you bring a snack or picnic lunch. In warmer weather you can swim or just float around. If you’re a high adrenaline couple, you can savor the thrills of white water together. (I’ve enjoyed that too, though not exactly “relaxing.”)

No, I’m not a rep for a kayak company. I’m telling you this because kayaking is one kind of “high energy fun,”and fun is vital for couples to experience together for bonding. It’s also the kind of “in the moment” activity vital for all of us, coupled or not, to have in our “refueling” repertoires.

So, if you’re near water, try it! If boating isn’t your thing, do something else which brings you pleasure, and takes you away from all the busy stressors in your life.

Cheers and Happy Spring!

Susan Lager

PS.  My new “CoupleSchool Fast-Track Program” is now available for sale on the “Products” page of this website at: http://wp.me/P1ayQF-d6

About Susan Lager

ABOUT ME Susan Lager, LICSW, BCD I grew up in New Rochelle, a suburb of NYC, lived in Manhattan for ten years during college and graduate school, and escaped the madness for the wilds of Maine to be with Thom, the sweet man I'm still married to after 34 years. (We have an awesome 29 year old son named Alec who will run the free world someday). I knew I'd survive the relocation from New York when I discovered the scenic, historic little city of Portsmouth, on the coast of New Hampshire, with its winding streets, great restaurants, and music everywhere. I was especially thrilled to attend the Portsmouth Psychotherapy Institute, an offshoot of the B.I.P., where I did post-graduate training, and then went into private practice creating The Couples Center PLLC, doing psychotherapy, with individuals, couples and groups. In 2010 I opened a division of the practice called COUPLESPEAK™, providing live and online coaching, training programs, workshops, and written materials for people in different kinds of partnerships. I'm still passionate about the work, which is NEVER boring! My clients are courageous pioneers, and they've taught me lots I'll pass on......
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